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GGGGerald

Bette and Joan

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The thing that surprised me was the language.  Naw, I knew full well that the two ladies could be salty as anchovies when they spoke with candor, but I don't watch much fare on that channel, and their being more easy going about it surprised me for a "basic" cable channel.  Usually, one expects to hear such utterance on SHOWTIME or HBO.

 

Other than that, I thought it was OK for a TV seiries.  Had it been a major production with a multi-million budget, it would have fallen short of passable.

 

 

For the longest time it was only the pay-cable channels like HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, TMC that allowed every curse word. Basic cable channels chose not to allow any vulgar language for many years, even though it was strictly voluntary, since they don't fall under the purview of the FCC guidelines that govern broadcast networks. In the past couple of years, though, more and more "bad" language is getting used on the standard basic cable channels, starting with the more "minor" 4-letter words. The "F-word" was still never used, that is, until very recently. I've read that AMC allowed it on Breaking Bad although I never watched it, so I don't know. I didn't notice it until this season, on the same channel as Feud, FX, and their series Taboo. That show made prodigious use of the "F-bombs", and it seems Feud will as well.

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For the longest time it was only the pay-cable channels like HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, TMC that allowed every curse word. Basic cable channels chose not to allow any vulgar language for many years, even though it was strictly voluntary, since they don't fall under the purview of the FCC guidelines that govern broadcast networks. In the past couple of years, though, more and more "bad" language is getting used on the standard basic cable channels, starting with the more "minor" 4-letter words. The "F-word" was still never used, that is, until very recently. I've read that AMC allowed it on Breaking Bad although I never watched it, so I don't know. I didn't notice it until this season, on the same channel as Feud, FX, and their series Taboo. That show made prodigious use of the "F-bombs", and it seems Feud will as well.

 

Remember, this is appealing directly to the same "Mommie Dearest" audience that swooned in cult pop-misogyny-gasms of delight when Faye Dunaway told the Coca-Cola board "Don't f--- with me, boys!"  

Probably written, produced or directed by one, too, knowing they couldn't do a remake.

 

And FX was the one who made the big deal about breaking the basic-cable envelope with The Shield, so they feel they have a reputation to live up to.

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I didn't have high hopes for it but recorded it. I started watching it this morning. I must confess I was riveted. It almost made me late for a dental appointment! So far I watched the first 36 minutes, will watch the rest tonight.

 

It may not be great art, but it's about the people we love -- Crawford, Davis, Blondell, Hopper, LB Mayer, Aldrich, etc. You gotta love it. 

 

So far, I think Jessica Lange is better than Susan Sarandon.

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For the longest time it was only the pay-cable channels like HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, TMC that allowed every curse word. Basic cable channels chose not to allow any vulgar language for many years, even though it was strictly voluntary, since they don't fall under the purview of the FCC guidelines that govern broadcast networks. In the past couple of years, though, more and more "bad" language is getting used on the standard basic cable channels, starting with the more "minor" 4-letter words. The "F-word" was still never used, that is, until very recently. I've read that AMC allowed it on Breaking Bad although I never watched it, so I don't know. I didn't notice it until this season, on the same channel as Feud, FX, and their series Taboo. That show made prodigious use of the "F-bombs", and it seems Feud will as well.

 

Well can one really have a feud without a few F bombs.     :lol:

 

(but yea,  I was somewhat surprised when I heard the first one).

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I didn't have high hopes for it but recorded it. I started watching it this morning. I must confess I was riveted. It almost made me late for a dental appointment! So far I watched the first 36 minutes, will watch the rest tonight.

 

It may not be great art, but it's about the people we love -- Crawford, Davis, Blondell, Hopper, LB Mayer, Aldrich, etc. You gotta love it. 

 

So far, I think Jessica Lange is better than Susan Sarandon.

 

Watched the rest of it. Great fun, though Joan is definitely the better role so far, and Jessica Lange is quite good. Sarandon just has to act bitchy, although she has one tiny teary scene.

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I found it fairly awful.  Jessica Lange is incapable of a good performance, imo, unless she's playing a slightly crazed, faded Southern belle; and, she never once reminded me of Joan Crawford.  Susan Sarandon did remind me of Bette Davis, but the whole thing is just so contrived, and downright dull.  I won't be tuning-in for another episode.

 

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In all their interviews both Bette and Joan never spoke disparagingly about each other. 

 

The comment Bette made about Joan's death wasn't very nice at all.

 

We have to remember. Its nothing new for people on this board who already know about the feud. This show is for new people who know little to nothing about who these actresses even are. Of course its going to have a few cliches and use overly dramatic moments. But, in their era, they weren't cliches yet. As a matter of fact, those two helped make some of the well know cliches and dramatic moments.

 

I see nothing wrong with a little camp. Its not supposed to be a documentary. There are already plenty of those.

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I see nothing wrong with a little camp. Its not supposed to be a documentary. There are already plenty of those.

 

I agree, and the fact that we are so used to what they look like, shouldn't deprive us of enjoying actors who portray them without precisely impersonating them. 

 

Here's what George M. Cohan looked like. Looks more like Robert Mitchum than James Cagney!

 

326_Cohan_3.jpg

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It's nice to see the soft, sensitive side of Joan, rather than the Mommie Dearest side.

 

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I didn't have high hopes for it but recorded it. I started watching it this morning. I must confess I was riveted. It almost made me late for a dental appointment! So far I watched the first 36 minutes, will watch the rest tonight.

 

It may not be great art, but it's about the people we love -- Crawford, Davis, Blondell, Hopper, LB Mayer, Aldrich, etc. You gotta love it. 

 

 

I wasn't expecting to like it or to dislike it either, but I enjoyed it very much.

I guess I would also use the word  "riveted" as well, Swithin.

The first episode definitely left me wanting to see more. 

Ryan Murphy definitely is skilled at combining elements of camp with a "serious" dramatic structure (I'm thinking of the early seasons of NIP/TUCK).

 

I'm looking forward to see how the Bette and Joan story unfolds in FEUD.

I'm especially curious to see if they do justice to Geraldine Page (being played in FEUD by Sarah Paulson, who, like Jessica Lange, is a Ryan Murphy regular). 

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I wasn't expecting to like it or to dislike it either, but I enjoyed it very much.

I guess I would also use the word  "riveted" as well, Swithin.

The first episode definitely left me wanting to see more. 

Ryan Murphy definitely is skilled at combining elements of camp with a "serious" dramatic structure (I'm thinking of the early seasons of NIP/TUCK).

 

I'm looking forward to see how the Bette and Joan story unfolds in FEUD.

I'm especially curious to see if they do justice to Geraldine Page (being played in FEUD by Sarah Paulson, who, like Jessica Lange, is a Ryan Murphy regular). 

 

 

What does Geraldine Page have to do with the Joan/Bette feud???

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What an great cast. Alfred Molina amazes me every time I see him. I love Judy Davis always, but her sort of playful, insouciant interpretation of Hedda Hopper got me wondering. I've always thought of Hedda as more of a brute, but now I realize I don't know much about her after all, so I'd like to nominate Hedda and Louella Parsons for the next installment of Feud. There was a TV movie way back when called Malice in Wonderland  with Elizabeth Taylor (and Jane Alexander?) which covered their rivalry, but I don't remember much about it. I'd love to see Ryan Murphy's team's take on those two. Anyway, one of the most intriguing characters to me is Mamacita. I've been vaguely aware of her presence in Joan's life, but this show makes her very central. In Mommie Dearest there was the character of "Carol Ann" who was Joan's factotum for many years. Was she real or an amalgam? Or is Mamacita an amalgam of different characters? If anyone knows, I'm very curious.

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What does Geraldine Page have to do with the Joan/Bette feud???

 

she was up for best actress in 1962 for SWEET BIRD...and accepted Joan's invite to accept on her behalf should she have won; it has been alleged that all the nominees did, Anne Bancroft certainly did...and interestingly enough, ANNE BANCROFT was the original choice to play Joan in MOMMIE DEAREST. 

 

Other than that, I can't think of any reason why there'd be any real enmity between Bette and Geraldine, their paths didn't cross professionally that i can think of...but maybe the maker of FEUD know something we done.

 

i am not sure if ANNE BANCROFT is a character in it or not, but i would imagine that if she were, she's be in the promotional material/ cast listings.

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she was up for best actress in 1962 for SWEET BIRD...and accepted Joan's invite to accept on her behalf should she have won; it has been alleged that all the nominees did, Anne Bancroft certainly did...and interestingly enough, ANNE BANCROFT was the original choice to play Joan in MOMMIE DEAREST. 

 

Other than that, I can't think of any reason why there'd be any real enmity between Bette and Geraldine, their paths didn't cross professionally that i can think of...but maybe the maker of FEUD know something we done.

 

i am not sure if ANNE BANCROFT is a character in it or not, but i would imagine that if she were, she's be in the promotional material/ cast listings.

 

  I see, a cameo role! LOL. Yeah, I knew she was up that year, but not why she should be in the show. Yes, Anne backed out of Mommie, forget the reason, think it was the script.

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  I see, a cameo role! LOL. Yeah, I knew she was up that year, but not why she should be in the show. Yes, Anne backed out of Mommie, forget the reason, think it was the script.

 

 

i seem to recall hearing she wanted to go with a more sympathetic portrayal of Crawford than the producers did.

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i seem to recall hearing she wanted to go with a more sympathetic portrayal of Crawford than the producers did.

 

 

(THAT'S for danged sure...)

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What an great cast. Alfred Molina amazes me every time I see him. I love Judy Davis always, but her sort of playful, insouciant interpretation of Hedda Hopper got me wondering. I've always thought of Hedda as more of a brute, but now I realize I don't know much about her after all, so I'd like to nominate Hedda and Louella Parsons for the next installment of Feud. There was a TV movie way back when called Malice in Wonderland  with Elizabeth Taylor (and Jane Alexander?) which covered their rivalry, but I don't remember much about it. I'd love to see Ryan Murphy's team's take on those two. Anyway, one of the most intriguing characters to me is Mamacita. I've been vaguely aware of her presence in Joan's life, but this show makes her very central. In Mommie Dearest there was the character of "Carol Ann" who was Joan's factotum for many years. Was she real or an amalgam? Or is Mamacita an amalgam of different characters? If anyone knows, I'm very curious.

 

Yes,  Alfred Molina was spot on.     As for Mamacita;  the first thing that came to my mind was Rosario and her relationship with Karen Walker on Will and Grace.    What would those people do without that help!

 

As you indicate a Hopper \ Parsons installment of Feud would be great.   

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Carol Ann in "Mommie Dearest" was an amalgam of a number of Crawford assistants/secretaries:

 

Betty Barker was a long time assistant in Los Angeles who handled a lot of Joan's paper work even after Joan moved to NYC, and a woman named Darinka Papich was with Joan in her apartment when she died and was, I believe, a fellow Christian Scientist. 

 

The maid, Mamacita, was very much a real woman whom Joan hired when she was vacationing on Long Island and needed some help.  

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she was up for best actress in 1962 for SWEET BIRD...and accepted Joan's invite to accept on her behalf should she have won; it has been alleged that all the nominees did, Anne Bancroft certainly did...and interestingly enough, ANNE BANCROFT was the original choice to play Joan in MOMMIE DEAREST. 

 

Other than that, I can't think of any reason why there'd be any real enmity between Bette and Geraldine, their paths didn't cross professionally that i can think of...but maybe the maker of FEUD know something we done.

 

i am not sure if ANNE BANCROFT is a character in it or not, but i would imagine that if she were, she's be in the promotional material/ cast listings.

 

 

Here are side by side photos of Sarah Paulson and Geraldine Page. 

 

paulson3-240x240.jpg

 

I couldn't find any photos of Paulson "in character" as Page.

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i assumed it would be ON DEMAND so I did not tune in.

so far the first episode has not been made available.

I watched it on Comcast ON DEMAND.

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I watched it on Comcast ON DEMAND.

Are you talking about the tv mini-series "Feud?"  unfortunately I missed `1/2 of it, but it looks strong & is on FX

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i seem to recall hearing she wanted to go with a more sympathetic portrayal of Crawford than the producers did.

In my own "Alternate *Oscars" file I personally not only think *Dunaway was "robbed" of a 4th nomination, but despite it's campy pts outright deserved a 2nd Best Actress *Oscar for "Mommie Dearest"

 

Strangely, though not really considering her age & the theatruical roles mostly nowadays offered to ladies over 50 or so, she doesn't do much anymore. Unless your *Streep, you just don't get the pts. Unless it's television,etc

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I agree, and the fact that we are so used to what they look like, shouldn't deprive us of enjoying actors who portray them without precisely impersonating them. 

 

Here's what George M. Cohan looked like. Looks more like Robert Mitchum than James Cagney!

 

326_Cohan_3.jpg

O I've seen pix of the real Cohan for decades  He died same year the bio was released  in '42 at only age 64

 

Always wondered how *Cagney felt though, when George M. Cohan was often quoted as saying "Spencer Tracy your the Best Damn actor I've ever seen" unquote???

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Strangely, though not really considering her age & the theatrical roles mostly nowadays offered to ladies over 50 or so, she doesn't do much anymore. Unless your *Streep, you just don't get the pts. Unless it's television,etc

 

One of the great performances by an older actress in contemporary times was Ellen Burstyn in Requiem for a Dream.  ​She was brilliant -- nearly 70 when she made the film. She was nominated for Best Actress and should have won. 

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